-President Weah bids Chief Justice Korkpor farewell.
By: G. Bennie Bravo Johnson
Francis S. Korkpor, the outgoing Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, has received praises from President George Manneh Weah for his immeasurable and valuable services to national duty and his work on judicial reform at the court, saying that His Honor Francis Korkpor has paid his dues to national duty.
President Weah says it was an honor for him to take part in and witness “this very important event,” which put Justice Korkpor’s career to an end after several years of service. He adds that Chief Justice Korkpor, despite having retired, is still sharp, so he will continue to consult him when necessary.
President Weah noted in a special speech at the conclusion of the March Term of the court and the retirement of Justice Francis S. Korkpor that the guarantee of rights and freedoms is the cornerstone of Liberia’s legal system, making the judiciary essential to democracy. He added that his administration is still working to strengthen the system.
“The national interests were represented by Justice Korkpor when he fought for the rights of the underprivileged and disadvantaged and when he supported journalists and civil society,” according to President Weah.
“We have taken our time with this national effort over the past few years as we work to uphold the independence that this arm of government should have. I must thus commend all of your efforts in this regard, especially those of the man we are honoring today, His Honor Francis Korkpor, the retiring Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia.
The Supreme Court of Liberia adjourned the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia’s March Term on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, and the day culminated with Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor’s formal retirement ceremony.
Members of the diplomatic code, Senate Pro-tempore Albert Chie, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, and members of both houses attended the event, which was held at the Supreme Court’s chamber.
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, the Liberia National Bar Association, and numbers of legal professionals were also present.
The departing chief Justice, Korkpor, earned a great deal of praises from his peers during the event and testimonies for his crucial role-playing during his service to the country.
The Liberian leader said that while serving as a retired justice at the Justice and Peace Commission, which was founded by the Catholic Church in the early 1990s to address human rights violations and injustices in our society, he quietly but fearlessly argued for justice and peace for all Liberians, but particularly for the poor and the oppressed.
Mr. Wean also mentioned that Chief Justice Korkpor frequently found himself at odds with some of Liberia’s former leaders, but he consistently remained true to the cause of justice.
“We are fully aware of the critical part the judiciary plays in preserving the peace we have worked so hard to obtain. Therefore, it is anticipated that you will continue to play a crucial role in our efforts to strengthen our democratic credentials as a country as we approach the general and presidential elections next year “urged President Weah.
He urged the judiciary, however, to guarantee that blind justice is served to all, stressing that they would do well to draw upon the superb framework that Justice Francis Korkpor and his associates had established during his tenure as this honorable Supreme Court’s chief justice.
“Justice Korkpor has over two decades of extraordinary and exceptional service as a Justice on the Supreme Court bench. He committed his time to ensuring that important judicial reforms were carried out, first as an Associate Justice and then as Chief Justice. He also started the development of significant additions and improvements to court infrastructure across the nation, bringing justice closer to the people finally”, he said.
In reaction to the many testimonies, outgoing Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor thanked the Liberians for putting their trust in him and expressed excitement.
He claimed that without the support of his co-workers and the international and national governments for his leadership, his continuous service at the court would not have been feasible.
“When Julie Bryant’s interim administration came to a close, I was the sole justice that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reappointed to the Supreme Court. She said that the reason she decided to rehire me was to ensure the program’s integrity, legal acumen, and human rights record. He added that he was chosen right away after Chief Justice Johnny Lewis retired.”